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- We normally only link to written content in our Morning Five, but we will make an exception for Scott Van Pelt’s rant on the RPI. We are not exactly sure what triggered this response (time of the year or the spirited defense of the RPI from Seth Davis that we linked to yesterday). While we agree with his general premise that the RPI is a deeply flawed system the more important point that he mentions in passing is that none of these ranking systems are perfect and should be used in conjunction with other methods of evaluation including your eyes, a method that Van Pelt stresses. To be perfectly honest, we are getting a little tired of all the debate on how dumb (or great, in the case of Davis) the RPI is. The NCAA either needs to provide a handful of the most respected metrics including the RPI for historical reasons, or it can get committee members who are willing to look beyond just the prepared handouts and data that they are given.
- What’s that? Another story on the RPI? We are only linking to this because it is such a good piece. John Gasaway’s history of the RPI is probably the most scholarly piece on the RPI you will read. Not only does Gasaway go into the origins of the RPI, which very few college basketball fans are aware of, but he also discusses the reasons for its continued existence and relevance. While most articles on the RPI are distorted by the author trying to make a case for or against (mostly against), Gasaway provides a balanced and rational look at the system with its strengths and flaws.
- After a few months of questions about whether or not the Xavier-Cincinnati series would survive this season’s brawl, it appears that the rivalry will continue. Although the decision will not officially be made until next month all signs indicate that the teams will continue to meet on an annual basis. Next season’s game will certainly be scrutinized by the national media (both sports and general) and we are certain that the build-up before the game will be over the top (hello, page views!), but we are glad that the officials at two schools are not letting one incident albeit a rather large one that turned into a series of incidents end one of the best rivalries in college sports.
- We are breaking all sort of unwritten rules on the Morning Five today as we are going to link to a writer for the second time today because of all the statistical nuggets in John Gasaway’s “Tuesday Truths” column. The basis, which we have discussed before, is rather simple, but Gasaway manages to make some insightful analysis. The number that blew us away the most was just how dominant Kentucky has been this year, but he also provides an interesting theory on why many Horizon League teams might want Valparaiso to win the regular season title.
- And now for the most controversial link in our Morning Five and what is sure to lead to a follow-up post in the near future. The four writers at CBS put together lists of the 16 greatest college basketball teams of all-time. The rankings are part of a tie-in to a multiple episode show on CBS Sports Network (corporate synergy!) and although many of the same teams appear there are quite a few differences. Quite a few things stood out to us, which we will hopefully get to address in a post in the near future, but let’s just say there may be a Poll Attack coming.